25 best video game sidekicks ever
Lydia (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, 2011)
You can have many, many different followers in Skyrim, and Lydia is far from the most interesting. And yet, and yet… none of the others have captured the gaming world’s collective imagination as much as this stern-faced shieldmaiden, probably because she’s the first companion most players receive in the game. No matter that her vocabulary consists of about eight phrases – for many Dragonborn, Lydia’s reliability is so loveable that they feel compelled to "put a ring on it" and marry her.
Yoshi (Super Mario World, 1990)
Yoshi was intended as a buddy for Mario even during the development of the first Super Mario Bros., but it wasn’t until the arrival of the SNES that Shigeru Miyamoto had the processing power to make his vision a reality. When ridden by Mario, this green dinosaur could devour enemies or suck up Koopa shells to be spat back out as weapons. After Super Mario World, Yoshi became a Nintendo regular, being a playable driver in Super Mario Kart and a fighter in Super Smash Bros.
Dog (Duck Hunt, 1984)
Like all best friends, Duck Hunt’s dog could be a right pain in the proverbial at times, chuckling meanly when you failed to bag any birds. But he’d also flush out the ducks and retrieve their lifeless corpses for you, which was heart-warming.
Otacon (Metal Gear Solid, 1998)
Hal Emmerich aka “Otacon” first appeared in the PlayStation version of Metal Gear Solid, where he helped Solid Snake defeat the Metal Gear REX machine that he himself designed. A huge nerd (his nickname comes from an anime obsession), his codec updates help keep Snake alive, not to mention provide some comic relief in a game series that can be a touch heavy at times. He also appears in Metal Gear Solid 2 and 4.
Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect, 2007)
In a trilogy where you have no shortage of companions, Garrus stands out as Shepard’s best bro – or in the case of female Shepards, possibly something more romantic. The cynical, hard-nosed turian sticks by your side through almost the entire series, gaining some nasty scars and an obsession with calibrating weaponry along the way – and Mass Effect 3’s scene in which Shepard and Garrus engage in a friendly contest before heading off to almost certain doom is one of the game’s most enjoyable moments.